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Government unveils latest measures to ‘tackle red tape burden’

 

The Government has announced a raft of changes to the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill, as part of its efforts to reduce the regulatory burden on UK businesses.

 

The amendments include removing automatic liability on business for civil damages in health and safety cases when they are not found negligent, as well as exempting intermediary companies from the Estate Agents Act.

 

Ministers also intend to simplify the entry procedures into bankruptcy by removing the court process when it is not needed, and to protect individuals from committing the criminal cartel offence by providing legal defence and guidance.

 

The Government hopes the changes will remove ‘unnecessary’ red tape and help firms to expand.

 

‘Clearing away barriers to help business grow and invest is an essential part of the Government's plan for growth,’ commented the Business Minister, Jo Swinson.

 

‘The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill will help strengthen the business environment and boost confidence, by sweeping away needless bureaucracy and out-of-date rules.’

 

Meanwhile, the Government has also indicated that it will repeal the third-party harassment provisions in the Equality Act 2010, following a consultation on the measures.

 

Under section 40 of the Act, employers may be deemed liable for the harassment of their staff by third parties, such as customers or suppliers.

 

However Brendan Barber, general secretary of the TUC, has warned that repealing the provisions will ‘weaken employment rights’.